Dry Skin and Seniors— What you Need to Know

As we age, our skin changes in many ways. It gets thinner, loses elasticity, and loses sweat and oil glands. For the seniors in our lives, it means drier skin that is itchier, more sensitive, and is easier to damage, such as through scratching. Find out below what conditions exacerbate seniors’ dry skin, and what you can do to help.

Causes of Dry Skin Here are several things that can cause dry skin for seniors, and over time make it even worse. Not having enough _ uids (co_ ee, soda, and alcohol don’t count), smoking, and spending too much time in the sun can all have a negative e_ ect on your skin. Bathing or showering in extreme hot water and dry air environments can also make dry skin worse. Some medications and topical products like deodorants, perfumes, and soaps can dry out your skin. Finally, health issues and stress can lead to drier skin in the elderly.

Treating Dry Skin If your senior loved one suffers from dry skin, most usually found on the lower legs, arms and elbows, there are a few steps you can take to help the condition. Making sure your senior loved one gets enough liquid is important, as is using a daily moisturizer, especially one without a fragrance. Taking fewer baths, or using warm water over hot can help. Using soaps and other products made for sensitive skin can also help. Make sure you keep an eye on skin that has been scratched, bleeds or looks infected. Comfort Keepers’ caregivers can also help seniors living independently keep up with their skin care routines.

This column is sponsored by Comfort Keepers of Polk County. BIO: Tracy Kelley is the owner/operator of Comfort Keepers of Polk County. For over 14 years, she has been leading professional and extensively-trained caregivers to help seniors of Central Florida maintain their quality of life. 

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